According to Taiwanese local media reports Tsinghua Unigroup offered to buy 20 percent of SK Hynix for about $5.3 billion on condition that the company built a wafer fab in China to make NAND flash memory.
A Barron's Asia article reported that SK Hynix had confirmed the receipt of an offer from Tsinghua Unigroup that it had rejected adding that it was not for sale.
In July of this year Tsinghua Unigroup made an informal bid of $23 billion to acquire Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho), which was rejected by the management of the company.
One reason SK Hynix may be wary of involvement with Tsinghua Unigroup is that the company is already intent on fostering competition. Earlier this month (November) the state-controlled conglomerate was revealed to be planning to invest about S 12.5 billion in a memory chip factory through Tongfang Guoxin Electronics Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of piezoelectric quartz crystal components that is traded on the Shenzhen stock exchange. TongFang said it will raise 80 billion yuan mainly provided by Tsinghua Unigroup affiliated companies in a stock exchange regulatory filing, the reports said.
Tsinghua is one of the vehicles that China is using in an attempt to build up its position in semiconductors, a technology that the country sees as strategic. The stated aim is to become the world's third largest manufacturer of chips – behind Taiwan and South Korea – and thereby reduce its balance of trade deficit on chips.
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